ESEE organized in Athens the Spring Meeting of the Federation of International Retail Associations (FIRA)

ESEE hosted the Spring Meeting of FIRA, the World Federation of Retail Commerce Associations, for the first time in our country. In a central hotel room in Athens, leading representatives of the retail commerce from all over the world gathered last week and discussed the dominant trends shaping the present and future of Retail. The leaders of Europe’s largest and most critical retail organizations, the USA, Brazil, Canada, and Australia, participated.

In the meeting, the problems and perspectives of commercial enterprises were analyzed extensively in the regime of rapid technological developments of the digital age and under the burden of the new obligations arising from implementing the best practices of Sustainability and Green Transition. The participants were particularly interested in the wide range of potential effects of Artificial Intelligence in the operation of businesses across the spectrum of economic activity. The Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship delegation highlighted the pivotal role of Greek commerce as the largest employer and multiplier of growth in the Greek economy.

In the framework of the meeting, the leading executives of three Greek companies that operate successfully in different retail commerce sectors were given the opportunity to present their business philosophy and action as well as their planning for the coming years inside and outside the Greek borders. Mr. Konstantinos Gerardos, CEO of Plaisio Computers, Mr. Konstantinos Alexiou, Financial Director of Funky Buddha, and Mrs. Zina Mavroidis, CEO of participated. In the context of the visit, FIRA representatives had constructive meetings, among others, with the CEO of Attica Department Stores, Mr. Demosthenes Boumi, and Mr. Panagiotis Dokos, Attica’s store manager.

FIRA President Mr. Jacques Creyssel emphasized: “Retail plays a central role in everyone’s daily life, everywhere in the world. It is also often the largest employer in each country and is increasing by leveraging digital transformation. This is also the reason why the sector needs significant investments”.

NRF President Mathew Shay said: “Physical shopping remains a vital part of the shopping experience. In the third quarter of 2022, the number of retail stores in the US reached its highest point in two decades and more. E-commerce is now back in the US at long-term growth rates, accounting for about 17% of sales.”

The President of ESEE, Mr. Giorgos Karanikas, stated: “With its participation in FIRA since 2020 as the only institutional representative of Greek Retail among 42 members from 23 countries, ESEE can closely monitor all global developments and the mega-trends that affect Greek commercial enterprises, with significant benefits in documenting and updating its proposals to the State”.